There comes a time in our quest for healthy living when, in order to be purposeful, we may have to be extreme.
I mean, let’s face it- do we want a life change or not? Are we willing to make a few sacrifices that will ensure success? If the answer is yes, the good news is that through trial and error, I’ve already found some solid extremes that work for me and may work for you as well.
EXTREME 1: It All Starts At the ….
If you don’t put it in your cart, you can’t bring it home! And if it’s not in your home, you won’t be tempted to eat it. Yes, it’s really THAT simple. Shop extremely smart- make it a fun challenge. See how many healthy things you can buy to make the most delicious meals. While it’s true that health food and organic foods can be the most expensive, if you aren’t buying all the other “crap”, your grocery bill can be cut up to half.
Here is a typical list of things that I bring home when I shop:
WATER (have plenty!),FRESH VEGETABLES (every kind!),FRESH FRUIT (every kind!),ALL NUTS (pecans, almonds, walnuts etc),RAISINS, CRANBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES ..ETC...,COTTAGE CHEESE,AU NATURAL JUICE (i.e., juice & water ingr. only),OATMEAL, BRAN, FLAX, GRAINS,CRANBERRY JUICE (little or no additives),Whole wheat, seed & grain ,BREAD,SKIM MILK,PRETZELS, TOAST, PITA BREAD,MELBA TOAST ..ETC...,DARK CHOCOLATE (SPARINGLY),..OIL.. &VINEGAR DRESSING(virgin olive & canola),BARLEY,SPICES,HERBS,CORN,HONEY,LEAN ORGANIC BEEF,CHICKEN (NON HORMONE, NON ANTIBIOTICE, NON MSG ..ETC..),TURKEY ( ” ),DEER (ORGANIC),VERY ..LOW.. FAT DAIRY,EGGS (..FREE.. RANGE, ORGANIC),SEAFOOD,BEANS, LENTILS,RED WINE (1/2- 1 glass per day)
I need suggestions on Dairy (milk and cheeses) what and what not to use!? Also if I missed some things here, please give me your suggestions.
EXTREME 2: Grow Your Own….
Go to great lengths to grow most of your own vegetables and fruit. And grow them organically. Don’t have a garden? It’s time to get one. Take the matter into your own hands. If you don’t have much room for a garden, you can do one of two things: 1) You can move: rent or buy a place with garden space OR 2) You can construct raised beds (can also tier them for more room, or uneven landscaping), or you can ….Container.. ..Garden….. Raised beds are never wider than 4 feet (this is so you can reach into the center), and they can be as long as you like (see here to learn how to construct a raised beds): ….
Or you can grow just about anything in a container. Any sized container will do. You can place these on your balcony, patio, in your house, in your yard, on your front steps etc…..
There are two main reasons for growing your own garden. The first being that many of the fruit and vegetables that we buy from the supermarket are loaded with chemicals and preservatives and are not as fresh and healthy as you may think. The second reason is that you will save a ton on your grocery bill every month (a growing problem with global food crisis on the rise). ….
But there is a very valuable third reason why you will want to have your own garden. The opportunity to work outdoors in a garden will provide much needed exercise and healthy doses of vitamin D (sunshine!). Brilliant! Gardening is brilliant!….
EXTREME 3: Buy a Bicycle and Stop Driving Your Car!….
You can get bicycles with baskets (front and back) to carry groceries, books, etc. You can also invest in a backpack. Several tremendously good things will happen if you do this:….
1) Your tummy will flatten. You’ll have buns of steel within a month. You’ll start to see shapely muscles on your calves and a splattering of freckles on your face. ….
2) Your stress level will go down as you learn to leisurely appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. If you have high blood pressure, it will decrease and you’ll wonder whatever it was that drew you to the rat race in the first place…..
3) If you only use your vehicle for the really big things such as long trips, the need to shop for larger items, and in emergencies, you will contribute to the well-being of your planet and overall environment by cutting back on fuel. And of course, you will save another large chunk of money every month…..
EXTREME 4: Get a Dog and Move to The Country…..
I mean seriously. Doesn’t it make sense? The air is fresher with double the amount of oxygen going into your lungs (thank you, thank you beautiful trees!). And “Banjo” (you know- your puppy), he’s going to be SOOO happy. He can run and run and run, gleefully romping in fields of green all day long. You won’t have to follow after him with a bag for his poo because he’ll naturally be fertilizing the forest. Nor will you have to be afraid of the Boogeyman because Banjo is more loyal and better than the most sophisticated security alarm system. Best of all, Banjo can curl up beside you and the fireplace at night (because of course you heat your house naturally and got a great work out chopping those logs)…..
I would never ever keep a dog in a city. I think it’s cruel to both animal and owner!….
EXTREME 5: Create an Environment Where you Exercise Naturally…..
This may be the most extreme of all the extremes and is probably hardest to achieve, but it is oh so worth it. I’ve never been one for going to the gym- a few reasons:….
1) I get bored and restless and don’t last long penned up in concrete walls…..
2) There really isn’t a sense of “community” in most gyms…..
3) If you’re a female, you gotta worry about the guys ogling you (guys some of you have to watch out for the drooling women), and you gotta impress the other females with your attire…..
No thanks. It’s just not for me. Give me the mountains, give me the rivers. I’ll hike all afternoon and fill up my canteen at the creek- fabulous exercise- excellent water source! Give me a bike. I’ll whiz down the hills with the wind tunneling down my throat and taking my breath away. Give me an axe. I know how to do a full-rounded swing to crack the wood. Give me a garden. I’ll rest on my haunches and tone my lower body. Give me my husband and my dog- we’ll enjoy an evening stroll as we look over our crops and gaze at the sunset…..